FROM Dylan Scott
Trump rolls back birth control rule The Trump Administration has issued " final rules " relaxing the so-called "contraception mandate" required by Obamacare. More than a half million women could be affected by a change that might or might not pass muster in the federal courts. Dylan Scott, who reports on health policy for Vox , says broad exemptions will make it much easier for businesses and institutions not to cover free contraception.
Republicans' final stand on Obamacare repeal It looks like a familiar scenario is repeating itself in the US Senate, with Republicans taking one more shot at Obamacare. But the latest bill , by Senators Lindsay Graham and Bill Cassidy, is not the same as the one defeated when John McCain dramatically turned his thumb down in the early hours one recent morning. Republican Lindsey Graham proposes funding Medicaid with block grants to the states, legislation that liberal Democrat Elizabeth Warren calls , "just another version of the same old cruel, heartless, shameless plan that the Republicans have spent the last eight months trying to jam down the throats of the American people." Dylan Scott, who covers healthcare for Vox , says Republicans are staring at a September 30 deadline, after which repeal will be very difficult.
Trump leans hard on Senate Republicans Republican senators went to the White House today for a lunch meeting with President Trump. On the menu was a strategy discussion about health care legislation. It came a day after their sudden, unexpected failure to pass a health care bill to replace Obamacare and even their attempt to just repeal the law. Dylan Scott, who covers health care for Vox , says Trump's inconsistency hasn't made things any easier for senators who are trying to bridge a wide partisan gap.
Alaska cures Obamacare Alaska’s insurance marketplace was on the brink of implosion last year. Then the state came up with a plan to save Obamacare. As a result, the jump in health insurance premiums went up only 7 percent in 2017, instead of the expected 42 percent. Other states are considering trying out Alaska’s plan.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.